After Egypt and Turkey, Russia has struck India off the list of safe travel recommended to its citizens travelling abroad. The Russian information centre in Goa have released a revised travel advisory, which has India and Goa among the blacklisted destinations. Interestingly, Cuba, south Vietnam and Southern China are now considered safe.
“Both India and Goa were not considered as good destinations for Russian travellers," Ekaterina Belyakova, head of the Russian information centre in Goa, was quoted as saying. “Over the past few years, the number of Russian tourists was not less than 50 per cent of all foreign tourists visiting Goa. Since 2002, the number of Russian-speaking tourists has grown steadily. In 2013, the number of Russian tourists visiting Goa was 250,000."
So naturally, the revised travel advisory will have an adverse impact on the ailing Goan GDP. Unlike Egypt and Turkey, the removal of India from the list is not tied to the terrorism activities here, but is attributed to local incidents of assault and misbehaviour encountered by Russian tourists in India. Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled all flights to Egypt after a Russian airliner crashed over Sinai on Oct 31, killing 224 people on board. The crash has been claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS).
On Saturday, Putin signed a decree imposing a raft of punitive economic sanctions against Turkey after it shot down a Russian jet last week. The decree, which entered into force immediately, said charter flights from Russia to Turkey would be banned, that tour firms would be told not to sell any holidays there, and that unspecified Turkish imports would be outlawed, and Turkish firms and nationals have their economic activities halted or curbed.